Portable Wisdom

Very large social units are imaginary

Very large social units are always, in a sense, imaginary. Or, to put it in a slightly different way, there is always a fundamental distinction between the way one relates to friends, family, neighbourhood, people and places that we actually know directly, and the way one relates to empires, nations and metropolises, phenomena that exist largely, or at least most of the time, in our heads.

David Graeber and David Wengrow, 2021

From the book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

© 2021 David Graeber and David Wengrow

(If you're open to chance, view a random quotation.)